The Reading Brain in the Digital Age, is a novel that explains the difference between reading from books and the digital reading from computers and smart phones. According to the novel, while reading books people tend to be committed and very attentive, the books are read thoroughly from one page to the other. The book readers take their time reading from the books with minimal interferences from anywhere. On the other hand, people reading from screens are not as committed as the book readers are since there are other attention diverters within the screen (Jabr, 11). It therefore becomes hard to pay attention to whatever is being read. I agree with the ideas within the novel that it is challenging to concentrate on the screen as it is on the books. Personally, I have been affected from too much reading from the screen and I find it difficult to concentrate on book reading.
Secondly, the novel considers points noted from books as tangible as in the page numbers and the specific points within the book where certain facts can be found. The novel suggests that when making references it is cheap to refer from the book as at the edge, at the bottom, at the top among other reference phrases (Jabr, 12). The structure of the lines within a book could also be used as references within books to ease referencing. However, the screen allows little room for referencing as its very hard to trace pages and the exact points where certain information is. The patterns within the lines of words is not easy to monitor from the screen as it is from books. I completely agree with the ideas from this novel especially the facts concerning referencing. I am a victim of the hectic process of referencing from the screen and as is confirmed by the novel, it is not cheap.
It is also stated that when people read from the screens they comprehend less as compared to the comprehensiveness paid to book reading. The understanding of the reading is owed to the attention paid and the amount of interferences experienced. As suggested within the novel, it is true that the comprehensiveness while reading from the screed is far below that when reading from the books. The words from the book are treated as physical and are hence handled carefully. The understanding developed when reading the books therefore makes reading from the books and easy way to remember the contents of the book as compared to reading from the screen (Jabr, 13). The ideas from the novel indicating that understanding readings from books is better than that from the screen is very true, as I have witnessed it, I often forget readings from the screen but tend to remember those from books.
Lastly, the novel ironically indicates that reading from the book takes less time than reading from the screen. In reading books, the book is already there with all its contents and the reader chooses to read it in whichever way he wishes. In contrary, reading from the screen requires loading of pages, which consumes a lot of time (Jabr, 14). Surely, the screen may experience internet delays and errors that create uncertainty and time wastage whereas the book is readily available for reading anytime. Reading from the screen is hence more expensive than the book since the book is bought once while the screen requires continuous use of resources while loading. Contrary to the thoughts I had before reading this novel, it is true that reading from the screen is more expensive than reading from the book.
Jabr, F. (2013). The reading brain in the digital age: The science of paper versus screens. Scientific American, 11-14.
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